Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Which sex is best for coral reef fish

29.08.2003


Puberty blues: goby fish choose their sex to find a mate



Research on the Great Barrier Reef has revealed that some young reef fish can choose when they mature and which sex they want to be when they grow up.

Research conducted by JP Hobbs, an honours student at James Cook University, Townsville, focused on a colourful goby that lives in bushy corals. The research may win him a British Council sponsored study tour of the UK.


Announcing his research results at Fresh Science in Melbourne today, JP said, “We already know that lots of adult fish change sex. Now we’ve discovered that juvenile fish also possess this flexible sexual development,” he says. “With juvenile coral gobies this flexible sexual development is influenced by social conditions.”

JP found that juveniles only mature when they meet an adult fish. If they meet a male fish they mature as females and vice versa.

“It all relates back to a coral goby’s lifestyle,” he says. “The big adult gobies muscle their way into the larger corals where they form a breeding pair.”

“Juveniles are not allowed to live with the adults and are forced to live by themselves in corals too small to support a breeding pair. Here they eagerly await the disappearance of an adult so that they can enter the larger coral and pair up with the remaining adult.”

“With all the larger corals occupied by breeding pairs, there are very few opportunities for a juvenile to ‘get lucky’. So it makes sense for a juvenile to delay maturing until it finds a partner and then to mature into the opposite sex of the newfound adult.”

“We suspect this flexibility in juvenile sexual development also happens in many other reef fish. After hatching, fish larvae drift onto reefs and have no idea as to how many males and females are on a reef,” he explains. “Flexibility in sexual development will enable a juvenile to mature into the best sex for obtaining a mate.”

“It’s important that we understand what’s happening with these fish as there are implications for:
  • conservation – the coral goby only lives in bushy corals which are very vulnerable to coral bleaching;

  • aquaculture – to get the best growth rates, farmers need to understand how to stop fish from maturing;

  • fisheries management – sex-changing fish require different management practices.”

JP is presenting his research to the public for the first time thanks to Fresh Science, a national program to bring public attention to the remarkable unsung achievements of young Australian scientists. He will be speaking to the public and school students about his work on Tuesday 19 and Wednesday 20 August at the Melbourne Museum.

Niall Byrne | alfa
Further information:
http://www.freshscience.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Water world
20.11.2017 | Washington University in St. Louis

nachricht Carefully crafted light pulses control neuron activity
20.11.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Antarctic landscape insights keep ice loss forecasts on the radar

20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

Filling the gap: High-latitude volcanic eruptions also have global impact

20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

Water world

20.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>